San Antonio is a Texas-sized city—double the land area of Chicago—so there are plenty of places to find dog-friendly fun.

The San Antonio Riverwalk stays busy with foot and paw traffic on either side of the San Antonio River. Leashed pets walk past boutique shops, restaurants or chill out while their owners enjoy a few scoops from Justin’s Ice Cream. Enjoy obstacle and open-space fun at the off-leash McAllister Dog Park. Even a special Blessing of The Animals event at San Fernando Cathedral, the city’s oldest church built in 1731.

When it’s time to tame your growling stomach, bring your pet to these San Antonio dog friendly restaurants for a bite to eat.

Café Vida

The neon ‘open’ sign to Cafe Vida flickers on every day inviting pet owners to dine in. This restaurant is all about healthy living and gives you plenty of delicious, guilt-free meals to enjoy. Set the example for your pet as you cheerfully eat all the veggies on your plate and much more!

Cafe Vida has two locations—the first is conveniently inside a local Gold’s Gym, and the other is in a shopping plaza with enough space to accommodate pets. Order and pick up your food at the inside counter and eat on the large outdoor patio.

The juice bar is popular for pet owners on the go. Order a green smoothie for an energy boost when finishing your dog walk, or drink a protein shake for a post-run with your dog. Smoothies are made to order with fresh ingredients.

Stay longer with a fresh meal picked out from the large menu. It specializes in healthy and nutritious foods, including wraps, salads, and soups.

Amenities and More: Accepts Apple Pay, Wheelchair Accessible

Address: 19179 Blanco Rd. Ste 109-1, San Antonio, TX 78258

Helotes Beer Garden

Helotes Beer Garden feels like a tailgate that never ends. Peak around the corner of Helotes Country Club Bar to find this massive patio space tucked behind the quaint bar.

Pets have enough dog years to get into the beer garden without ID. However, make sure your pet is on its best behavior because they’re lucky to get an honorary pass to this adult-only venue. And just a heads up, there will be chickens running around freely, so try to resist the urge to chase them.

The evening is a popular time to enjoy the outdoor patio with your dog. Sit on tables below playful lighting strung through the old oaks and pavilion beams. Rhythmic country tunes ring throughout the patio bringing a laid-back vibe to the atmosphere. Gather around the fire pits in fun lounge chairs that are both comfy for sitting back and stylish for snapping a few flicks of your outing.

Hang for a while because the patio has plenty of entertainment for you and your dog. Order a round of craft beers to drink during a game of cornhole. Chow down on slices of pizza and other classic bar foods in between rounds on the giant Connect Four Board. Not even the signature frozen sangria can cool your hot streak when you start winning.

Amenities and More: Street Parking

Address: 14687 Old Bandera Rd., Helotes, TX 78023

Scorpion

Today’s horoscope leads you and your dog to the Scorpion restaurant. It’s a fine choice for tasting fine cuisines in a casual restaurant.

The minimalist style of Scorpion has subtle Mediterranean design features to create a unique setting. It’s always sunny in San Antonio to roll up the built-in garage door connecting the outdoor patio. Now, servers have a direct route between the kitchen counter and your table.

Sharing is one of the menu traits at Scorpion. It has many small plates with finger eats like crispy papas and lox bagels to split between your group—it’s always a dog fight for the last piece. Choose between decorative contemporary seafood entrees like Pescado aside or the half chicken a la Brasa. Sweet treats like the Peruvian-style flan make dessert a must-order.

Amenities and More: Asian-owned, Women-owned, Heated Outdoor Seating, Happy Hour Specials, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts Apple Pay

Address: 125 Lamar St Ste 106, San Antonio, TX 78202

Reese Bros Barbecue

You know you’re in Texas when you see barbecue joints on every other block. San Antonio is no exception, and there’s always friendly competition for the best saucy ribs and tender brisket in town. Reese Bros Barbecue welcomes pet owners and their furry companions as part of the family when you dine at their restaurant in Lavaca Historic District.

Reese Bros Barbecue is one more thing to look forward to on the weekends because, unfortunately, it’s the only time it’s open. However, the consistently long lines clearly indicate that it’s worth the wait. Save your dog a few steps by arriving early when it opens at noon before the best parking spots are gone.

The massive onsite smokers are nearly as large as the entire hole-in-the-wall shack hosting the restaurant. It has an outdoor counter for ordering and picnic tables to dig in immediately when your order gets called. It prepares Texas-style smoked turkey, ribs, brisket, sausage, and sides.

Amenities and More: Outdoor Seating

Address: 906 Hoefgen Ave, San Antonio, TX 78210

Pastiche

Make Pastiche your home for the day and enjoy comfort foods served from lunch to late at night. This quiet neighborhood bar gives an occasional bark since dogs can also treat it like their dog house. The unique setting transports you to a different era when pets in restaurants weren’t so taboo.

Pastiche has perfected the speakeasy setting. Vintage decor reminisces of the 1900s with vintage couches, dated wall posters, and antique rotary-rail phones set as table centerpieces. Outside, you’ll find everything from cats napping on cozy lawn chairs to dogs relaxing in the backyard shade. A unique fence crafted from old doors encloses the yard for an intimate dining setting.

Enjoy food and drinks until late at night at Pastiche, open as late as 1 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. Wind down for the evening with signature cocktails like the Refresco de Limao e Careja at the bar. Settle your stomach snarls with daily and seasonal specials like burgundy snails, pickled vegetables, and lemon meringue pie.

Amenities and More: Takes Reservations, Waiter Service, Full Bar, Happy Hour Specials, Wheelchair Accessible

Address: 1506 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78202

Danny Boy’s Hamburgers

The smiling Danny Boy’s logo sits proudly atop its bite-sized restaurant storefront. The smaller the dog, the bigger the bite because Danny Boy’s has the best burgers in San Antonio. It’s a hidden gem hole-in-the-wall venue with onsite seating for pets.

The juicy hamburgers at Danny Boy’s settle the beef between pets and pet owners since you can enjoy the pet-friendly patio. Let your pet stretch its legs in the spacious outdoor seating on two sides of the restaurant. Claim your spot on the brick front porch or sink your paws in the gravel lining the side.

Danny Boy’s keeps a simple menu to focus on mastering one thing—cooking hamburgers. It specializes in a smashed-burger style with buns greasy enough to reflect light and meat with perfectly charred edges to hold in the flavor. Put your stomach to the test with single, double, triple, and quadruple burgers topped with four patties! You can customize your burger with cheese and applewood bacon.

Keep in mind that Danny Boy’s is cash only.

Amenities and More: Many Vegetarian Options, Wheelchair Accessible

Address: 1537 W. Summit Ave, San Antonio, TX 78201

El Chunky

Southtown is a vibrant district in San Antonio to explore with your pet. Stroll past contemporary art galleries lining colorful blocks decorated with graffiti. Dog-friendly restaurants like El Chunky accommodate the many hipsters walking around with their pets and visitors who’ve heard about the best hot dogs in town.

The San Antonio-themed mural outside El Chunky suits its Art District location. Pose with your pet for selfies in front of the art piece before stepping inside to escape the Texas heat—pets are allowed inside. There are only a few seats available, so consider yourself lucky if you snag one at the window-front counters.

The best dog in El Chunky is debatable—your four-legged partner or one of the specialty hot dog meals lining the menu. Various toppings cover the juicy nine-inch beef weiners to create unique flavor combos wedged between the soft buns. Some of its popular items are the Chunky Chillin chili hot dog and the fajita chunky dog. It also has creative seasonal specialty hotdogs.

Amenities and More: Latinx-Owned, Accepts Apple Pay, Accepts Android Pay, Happy Hour Specials, Wheelchair Accessible

Address: 2620 S Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78210

Sweet Yams

Keep up with your energetic dog with a meal from Sweet Yams. The light yet filling dishes make you feel good, even after cleaning your plate. Located in the city’s Eastside, healthy food is even more accessible to the hungry pet owners craving it.

Sweet Yams strives for organic food and procedure that is good for your health and the environment. It selects fresh ingredients and serves farm-to-table specialties. It also uses compostable containers and plastic-free packaging for takeout orders and provides onsite organic compost. The dog-friendly outdoor patio feels like dining in a greenhouse surrounded by vegetation.

It’s time to become a part of the healthy food cycle with good-for-you items at Sweet Yams. It has many vegan and vegetarian dishes, like the meat-alternative organic mushroom burger and the Texas Turkey chili made with organic vegan chili.

Leftovers aren’t the only way to enjoy Sweet Yams at home. It also sells per-packaged meals later in the week when doggy duties have you too tied up to go out to eat.

Amenities and More: Black-Owned, Women-Owned, Accepts Android Pay, Pescatarian Options, Wheelchair Accessible

Address: 218 N Cherry St, San Antonio, TX 78202

Birotes Tortas Ahogadas

Mexican heritage’s evident throughout San Antonio, from historical landmarks like the Alamo to restaurants like Birotes Tortas Ahogadas, harboring flavors from south of the border. Even in Texas, Mexican cuisine hasn’t lost its flavors thanks to chefs bringing over the traditions of their hometowns. And Birtoes Tortas Ahogadas show that tacos aren’t the only Mexican street food worth tasting.

Birotes Todas Ahogadas opened in 2019 under head chef/owner Miguel Cortez. He creates a unique identity for his Mexican restaurant using an artisan-style local sourdough bread called birote instead of traditional tortillas. It gives you an even more flavorful experience when eating the signature Torta ahogada, quesabirria tacos, or sopes. Dip the sugar-coated churros in the sweet Carmel sauce.

Birotes Tortas Ahogadas makes outdoor dining a bit cozier with a few modifications. It encloses the outdoor patio with a roof for shade and a net for keeping out Texas-sized bugs from nothing your pet while you eat.

Amenities and More: Latinx-Owned, Covered Outdoor Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Waiter Service, Accepts Credit Cards, Takes Reservations

Address: 3004 W Martin Ste 2, San Antonio, TX 78207

The Shack

American classic food from The Shack is the perfect fuel for your day. In less than a decade, it’s come a long way from opening as a gas station pop-up in 2014 to occupying a storefront location large enough to accommodate everyone wanting to eat there. It’s a success story that continues flowing, and dogs can slide into the restaurant with you.

Peer around the corner of the front entrance to the restaurant to find the large outdoor patio. The dog-friendly deck features two levels of tables and umbrellas for shade. The inside order and pick-up counter mean you’ll still step inside momentarily to smell the tasty meals and snacks cooking in the kitchen.

Everyone has something to order at The Shack. When you’re hungry for a meal, choose between favorites like the cheeseburger, chili cheese dog, and southwest corn in a cup. Don’t sleep on desserts like strawberry, whipped cream-topped funnel cake, and fruity Sno cones. Detour to the sauce station before returning to your table to top your meal with a range of hot sauces and other flavors.

Amenities and More: Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts Apple Pay, Accepts Android Pay, Vegan Options

Address: 7431 NW Loop 410 Ste 115, San Antonio, TX 78251

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Special Reports Team